Wo…! – and how it is good for you.

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Rockefeller Center ice rink
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It is easy to get into an equilibrium – a stasis. The question is how to perturb the system to get of this this state?

Wow — or something close to that. I might not even have the right word here. What I am looking for is when you are walking along in slippery conditions and your feet suddenly slip out from underneath you and your brain goes wo…. Like what the hell happened to me – and by the time your brain has said wo… it has already caught itself from falling.

This morning (as a metaphor):

In Vancouver where I live after much snow (at least for us) followed by a thawing and plenty of rain it started to freeze and the streets and sidewalks are now like one giant skating rink. Every X number of steps all of a sudden your feet start flying from underneath you and your brain goes – Wo… .  Somewhere deep within your cerebellum (among other areas) the brain is jolted into trying to maintain an upright stance (first degree wo…). It doesn’t always work and sometimes your feet keep going upwards and your heads plummets towards good old mother earth (covered with cement and pavement – good old human-kind). Your old noggin smacks hard against the world (second degree wo…), and head wounds tend to really bleed. It doesn’t take much blood spilling from your head to cause serious alarm – but really it is not that much in terms of your blood reserves. You just had a serious mind slippage – and barring a traumatic brain injury (which is a serious problem) maybe you are better off for the experience. You just had a super wo… experience. Once you wipe away the blood you might even have an epiphany of some sort. Now I am not arguing that we should aim for these more traumatic brain slips.

Even the initial wo.. slippage and correction I think is good for your brain. Your brain has been perturbed and you needed (or at least your brain – because the body adjustment were probably at a non-conscious level) to made serious adjustments to keep you upright. It is like practicing balancing – but also inducing some brain plasticity to be better in the future.

From physical to mental:

But beyond the physicallity of a simple slip on ice it is good for your brain health to have mind slippage – exposure to new thoughts and ideas. If you are just  repeatedly reading the dogma of your chosen field I would argue you are not really learning.

Now you probably can not on purpose slip just like it is nearly impossible to tickle yourself – but others can tickle you. Go find some ice, expose yourself to new people be it in person or by what information you take in (books, blogs, articles, etc).

Over the last two evening I experienced serious mind slippage (wo..) reading about the problem of poverty – and maybe how to fix it (and it the last couple weeks had a second degree brain slippage – but that is too gory to go into here). In another post I will share the information of my recent first degree mind slippage and what I have learned about the poverty problem – and potential solution.

Take home message:

Go find ice – mental and physical ice to induce slippage and the wo… experience. Grow.

2 comments for “Wo…! – and how it is good for you.

  1. JI
    December 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    do the new people interactions have to be “fun”? maybe they can still teach us something.

  2. Ward
    December 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    No the interactions don’t have to be fun – we can learn from many different experiences. Reading about what are the underlying contributors to poverty is not fun – and figuring out how to change things to reduce poverty while not fun I think is important. Even my second degree wo… experience – hitting the ground at higher than desired speed taught me something without being at all fun. To more fun, and other adventures on the frozen highway of life.